Title

Light dawns gradually over the whole : models of integrated curriculum provided in middle schools within Western Australia

Date of Award

1-1-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

Abstract

The interconnectedness of knowledge and the transfer of skills between learning areas can be beneficial for students. It can assist them to connect their schoot experiences with their daily lives and empower them to deal more effectively with the rigours of senior school, where more abstract ideas and concepts are taught. Curriculum integration may be one way in which students could be provided with opportunities to develop and transfer skills and knowledge across their school subjects. The West Australian Curriculum Framework, which has been in operation for the past ten years, also promotes a curriculum which integrates the eight learning areas identified. The ideal time to provide this opportunity may be during the transition from primary to secondary schooling, otherwise known as the middle years of schooling. Curriculum integration is one of the main elements of middle schooling. The question is: how prevalent is integrated curriculum in West Australian middle schools and in what way is it being provided? This research provides some answers to that question, however, due to the small sample size involved in the study it is problematical to generalise the results for all middle schools in Western Australia. These answers were generated through the combination of a number of sources of data. Initially, a range of literature pertaining to integrated curriculum in Western Australia was analysed. This provided the framework for the next stage, a survey questionnaire, which was sent to all middle schools in the State. A third data source was created from interviews with teachers and administrators that provide integrated curriculum. These data sources were all analysed using a variation of the "framework" method. This qualitative methodology was especiaJJy suitable for this research due to the need to gain in depth data from a diverse range of schools. These activities identified a number of integrated curriculum models. They also revealed numerous supports and barriers that schools have encountered in their experience with integrated curriculum.

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